Carroll, Kenon join VMI basketball coaching staff

Two new assistant coaches have joined the VMI basketball coaching staff for the 2017-18 season, head coach Dan Earl announced.

vmi basketballJoining the staff are Kevin Carroll and former VMI alumnus and standout shooting guard Austin Kenon.

Carroll and Kenon fill the vacancies created when Chris Kreider and Jason Slay accepted assistant coaching positions in the spring at Rice and Youngstown State, respectively.

Carroll comes to VMI after serving seven seasons as the head men’s basketball coach at NCAA Division II member, Maryville University-St. Louis.  His tenure began on the tail end of the program’s transition from NCAA Division III to Division II and was highlighted by setting a record for wins in a season and being the only coach in program history to record wins against nationally ranked opponents.

After rebuilding the program in his first two seasons, Carroll led the 2012-13 team to the most successful season in the 41-year history of the program and the first 20-win campaign in 34 years.  That season the Saints recorded 23 wins, while amassing a school-record 12 Great Lakes Valley Conference victories, finishing second behind the NCAA Division II national champion in the GLVC Western Division.  Maryville also jumped out to the best start in program history for the second year in a row and defeated a nationally-ranked team (No. 4 Bellarmine) for the first time in school history.  Carroll’s teams also went on to knock off nationally ranked teams during the 2013-14 & 2014-15 seasons.

During the 2015-16, Carroll helped guide Forrester Sims to third-team All-Conference honors. Academic success was plentiful as the Saints earned the NABC Team Academic Award for the third straight season. In addition, Derek Deters and Max Mischkulnig were selected to the NABC Honors Court for academic achievement.

The 2014-15 campaign saw Carroll coach two second-team All-GLVC selections in Armon Provo and Trae Pemberton. The Saints also garnered the NABC Team Academic Award in back-to-back seasons. Pemberton later signed a professional basketball contract to play in Ireland for the Tralee Warriors.

During the 2013-14 year, Carroll helped Asa Toney earn first-team All-Conference honors for the second straight season. His coaching helped Toney finish fourth on the career scoring list, become the school’s all-time assist leader (395) and finish second on the career steals chart.

The Saints finished the 2012-13 season as the GLVC West Division runners up and advanced to the quarterfinals of the GLVC Tournament. Three Saints earned All-Conference honors, and Asa Toney was chosen as an honorable mention All-American.

In his second year with the Saints, the squad nearly doubled its victory total from the year prior to 13. For the first time in program history, Maryville began a season with four straight victories. The Saints ranked in the top 20 nationally in 3-point field goals per game and were third in the GLVC in scoring defense.

The Wildwood, GA, native came to Maryville from the Air Force Academy where he was assistant coach for three seasons.  While on staff, the Falcons qualified for the Mountain West Conference tournament and advanced as far as the quarterfinals each year.  During his tenure, he coached two Mountain West All-Conference selections, three Academic All-Conference honorees and one MWC Defensive Player of the Year.

Prior to his time at Air Force, Carroll served as the top assistant coach at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, an NCAA Division II institution, from 2006-07. While there, he helped the Chargers to an 18-11 record and an appearance at the Gulf South Conference tournament.

Before moving to the college ranks, Carroll served as the head coach of St. Pius X High School in Atlanta, Ga.  In three seasons as head coach, he amassed a 49-38 record while turning around a program into one of the most successful in the state.

After winning only six games in 2004-05, Carroll’s second team improved its win total to 19 games and advanced to the second round of the state tournament. The 2005-06, the Golden Lions set a number of school records, including tying the record for wins in a season while capturing only the second regional championship in the program’s 49-year history. In Carroll’s final two seasons at St. Pius X, the Golden Lions defeated ten ranked teams, including AAAA’s top-ranked team in the 2006 regional finals.

Carroll earned his bachelor’s degree in math education from Berry College in Rome, Ga. in 2000. He was a four-year member of the men’s basketball team and helped guide the Vikings to three consecutive 20-win seasons. Carroll received the TranSouth Conference Scholar-Athlete Award for his efforts on the court and in the classroom his senior year. He earned his master’s degree in health sciences from the University of Alabama in 2002.

“I am very excited to add Kevin Carroll to our VMI coaching staff”, said Earl.  “Kevin is an outstanding coach with a great basketball mind.  He is also a great person, who takes pride in helping to mold successful young men.  He has military experience with his time spent at the United States Air Force Academy.  He also has Head Coaching experience both at the High School level, as well as at the college level at Maryville University.  He will hit the ground running and I know he looks forward to helping our VMI Basketball program accomplish our goals.”

Kenon, one of the top shooting guards in VMI basketball history, was a standout 3-point threat over his four-year VMI career and ranks first on the school list in all-time treys with 349 made between 2007-11 which ranked third in the Big South Conference.

He culminated his Institute playing career with a stellar senior campaign in 2010-11 and was named first team All-Big South after leading the league in 3-pointers made (93) and 3-point percentage (.419). He placed second overall in the Big South in scoring in 2010-11 with an 18.4 points per game average and was led all scorers in conference games that season. He also served as the team captain.

Kenon is perhaps best remembered for his performance on Senior Night on February 15, 2011 when he drained eight 3-pointers on his way to scoring a career-high 39 points and grabbing eight rebounds in VMI’s 79-69 win over Liberty at Cameron hall.

Kenon finished his VMI career ranked fifth in scoring all-time with 1,767 points.

After graduating from the Institute with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in May, 2011, Kenon, a Virginia Beach native, played a season professionally overseas competing in the LPB – Portugese Premier Basketball League in Funchal, Maderia.

Kenon most recently served as a Virginia Beach Corrections Officer/Deputy Sheriff since 2015 and also worked in the Virginia Beach City Public Schools.

Kenon coached basketball as an assistant on the Division III level from 2014-16 handling a wide array of duties including player development and recruiting.

“I am thrilled to welcome back Austin Kenon to VMI,” said Earl. “As I was searching for the best candidate to round out our staff, many things continued to bring me back to Austin.  He was a tremendous player, who was known for his work ethic and leadership skills.  More than anything, I know that he is a person of high integrity and character.  With his experience as a Cadet and Basketball Player, he has first-hand knowledge of what it takes to be a successful at VMI.  Austin will be very valuable asset to our program, particularly in recruiting and in developing relationships with our players.  I look forward to working with Austin and having him back at VMI.”

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